Pensioners slipping below the poverty line

| April 16, 2008 | 0 Comments
Pensioners slipping below the poverty line

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have established that half of all single pensioners receive an annual income of under £6,000.

The ONS figures, which cover 2005/06, also revealed that 62% of pensioner couples had a total pension income of less than £10,000.

The research is highlighting the need for a private pension as figures from financial advice company Hargreaves Lansdown reveal that over 60% of adults are not paying into a private pension. This is the highest proportion since records began 12 years ago and is further proof of how people are failing to recognise the need to save for retirement.

The figure represents 22 million of the working age population and experts are warning that a growing amount of people are condemning themselves to retirement in poverty.

In 1996/97 just over half of men and 43% of women between the age of 16 and 64 were paying into a private pension. In comparison, by 2005/06 the total had dropped to 43% and 37% respectively.

Laith Khalaf of Hargreaves Lansdown said if pension savings continue to decline in this way, we could see a generation of pensioners living on baked beans and Rich Tea biscuits.

Retirement should be a time to relax and enjoy yourself, but you need to have put aside enough during your working lifetime to do so. These figures show that for many retirement will be a pretty miserable existence, added Mr Khalaf.

As the cost of living increases, more and more pensioners are slipping below the poverty line, according to the National Pensioners Convention, around 1.8 million pensioners do not claim the means-tested pension credit offered by the Government, despite being eligible.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions insisted the Government is doing everything it can to improve the situation for pensioners and future pensioners and added we have lifted over a million pensioners out of poverty by targeting help to those who need it most.

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